Saudi Arabia’s women’s rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul received a top European rights award by The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), on April 19th.
The rights activist won the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Award for 2020. Loujain Al-Hathloul has served 1,001 days in jail for defending women’s rights in Saudi Arabia and was released on Feb 10, 2021.
Many congratulations to Loujain al-Hathloul @LoujainHathloul, who was today awarded the 2020 Václav #HavelPrize for her activism for women’s rights in #SaudiArabia. #StandWithSaudiHeroeshttps://t.co/f818iyrCgM pic.twitter.com/NDDS5yWxIP— ALQST for Human Rights (@ALQST_En) April 19, 2021
The Vaclav Havel Human Rights Award was first launched in 2013 and given to people or institutions for outstanding efforts in defending human rights across the world.
Vaclav Havel, the human rights activist and president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, was the main inspiration behind the prize which is endowed with €60,000 ($72,000).
.@LoujainHathloul has been announced as the winner of the 2020 Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize. Since 2013, the prize has been awarded annually to individuals or institutions for an extraordinary contribution to the defense of human rights. https://t.co/RnNMUFTmEN— DAWN MENA (@DAWNmenaorg) April 19, 2021
Al-Hathloul is a well known figure for her fight for women’s rights activism in Saudi Arabia especially fighting for the right for all women to drive cars and opposing the Saudi male guardianship system.
However, the Saudi government has always stood against the rights activist and in December 2020, the court sentenced her to 5 years and eight months in jail, accusing her of violating the country's counterterrorism law. Despite her jail release, Lujain is banned from leaving the country.
Loujain is at home !!!!!!— Lina Alhathloul لينا الهذلول (@LinaAlhathloul) February 10, 2021
تم الافراج عن لجين pic.twitter.com/fqug9VK6Mj
This year’s nominees of Vaclav Havel Human Rights Award are Julienne Lusenge, who has been the leading female activist in Democratic Republic of the Congo fighting against gender-based violence (GBV) and promoting rights of women and girls in conflict situations, as well as the Himalayan "Kung Fu Nuns" of the Drukpa Order of Buddhism familiar for their efforts to halt human trafficking, reach gender equality, and mobilize for disaster relief.
The Vaclav Havel award 2019 was given to Ilham Tohti; an Uyghur university lecturer and economist serving a life sentence in Xinjiang, China since 2014 on separatism-related charges and to the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, which brings together young people from different ethnic groups in the Balkans to promote reconciliation.
As Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti receives Europe's top human rights prize, his daughter, accepting the award on his behalf because he's in Chinese custody like one million other Uighurs, admits she does not know if her father is dead or alive. https://t.co/0apNOPyPPw pic.twitter.com/FiME8MwxgN— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) December 19, 2019
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